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Life as we know it.

3 Sep

Things have been going pretty great around here. Both children are happy  (healthy) and Jude seems to hate us much less now than the first month Ruby was born. Ruby is tiny, precious and such a good girl. She loves Mama and loves nursing even more. She is totally one of those babies that wants to be held 24/7. Thankfully she is my second child, so I’m now smart enough to realize this is more a blessing than a curse and try to enjoy every second of baby snuggles I can. In a flash I’m sure she will be following Jude around, throwing tantrums and punching us in the face. Okay maybe not that last part. If we are lucky.

I think one of the unexpected trials of Motherhood is the stress it brings to all the OTHER areas of your life. Your body, marriage, friendships and work suddenly take a blow and learning how to balance that part of life properly is a science I’m still experimenting with. I mean, Ruby is still tiny… most of my days consist of trying to fit in time to take a dump, shower or (God-willing) both. So I’ve had to learn to take it pretty easy on myself when it comes to my expectations. I’m learning its okay to be a boring, tired wife for now. That my house will not be like this forever. That the weight isn’t going to come off overnight. Work will come again and I’m sure all I will do is wish to go back to the days I’m living now.

Jude is turning 2 on the 29th of this month. It makes me want to cry when I think about it. I keep trying to force him into bear hugs all day long, its really cramping his independent style. He is coming out of his crazy-coma a little and starting to get back to his old, sweet (yet still psychotic) ways. I don’t know what I would do without that little boy’s smile every morning. Right now he is really into, “HIIIIIIIIII!”. He smiles at me with an admiration that is indescribable. The kids bring us a happiness unlike any other. He just adores his sister. I used to think he liked giving her kisses because every time he would be praised with an “Awww!” but we have caught him tip toeing up to her in the bouncy chair when he thinks we are not looking to kiss her toes.

Photo by the talented Priscilla Newton.

Obsessed with sand.

9 weeks.

10 weeks.

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Nothing better.

4 Aug

This evening I was sitting in the living room nursing Ruby while Jude played. She decided she was full, so I placed her looking over my left shoulder to burp (even ladies have to burp sometimes). Jude came over to me and laid his head on my knee. I asked him if he felt left out and wanted to sit on my lap too? He instantly climbed onto my lap and placed his head on my right shoulder. So there I sat, both of my babies giving me cuddles. I had a big grin and a few tears of joy. Knowing it would only last a few minutes, I tried to appreciate every second. Because no matter how much stress or anxiety raising children may bring, there is nothing better or more baffling than the ridiculous bliss a moment like this can bring. I am the luckiest.

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Maybe I CAN actually do this?

29 Jul

Wednesday was a horrible day. I felt like I was drowning, as if I was being swallowed whole. I was tired and bored, Jude was tired and bored.

Ever have those days where you feel like you don’t have a single friend or person who cares in your life? Maybe that isn’t a normal feeling, but I’ve struggled with these kinds of feelings my entire life. Such a “poor me” victim attitude to have (and completely untrue) but yet I still have them. Well, I was having one of those days, on the verge of tears. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of breast-milk, poopy diapers and Sesame Street. I kept having these overwhelming thoughts:

Will I ever sleep again?

Do people still want to be friends with me now that I have two children?

How can we afford this?

Am I mature enough to handle something like this?

Ect.

Complete self doubt.

To make matters worse, Michael was scheduled to go out to celebrate his Mother’s birthday that evening (Ya, he went to a coupon class with her…because he wanted to…but that is a story for another day.) so I was going to be home alone with the kids for 12 hours straight. He came home for an hour after work and I SO desperately wanted to put on a happy face and convince him that I was ecstatic that he was able to get out of the house and go have fun (as much fun as I assume a person can have at a coupon class).

For the record, I was happy for him- just not for me. I knew his Mom deserved to have her time with him and definitely deserved to be celebrated. Yet as soon as he walked in the door, I began crying. The silent, slow and pathetic cry…where you are trying really hard not to cry (because you lie to yourself saying somewhere in your mind that you have willpower, that you know deep down you don’t have) but it only makes the crying worse because if you don’t allow the tears to come it feels as though the back of your throat and temples will simultaneously explode. That.

Of course Michael tried to be sympathetic and talk with me. Of course… I was a huge asshole and just pretended like nothing was wrong. He even brought me dinner and let me take a shower before he left, which somehow only made me feel worse. Why is it excruciating when someone is considerate to you, thus interrupting the fact that you are trying so hard to make yourself feel horrible? Didn’t he know how undeserving of chicken strips and tater tots I was? I mean, honestly. He is SUCH a douche sometimes.

Finally it was time for him to skip off to Coupon Club Anonymous or whatever (sorry honey, I’m not letting this go for awhile…) and I tried to fake a smile and send him on his way. Jude was upset and started banging on our bay window (that looks out to the car that Michael was driving away in) screaming and crying. I tried to soothe him, but who was I kidding? I couldn’t even soothe myself. “Okay Budgie, Daddy will be home soon.” I told him in a broken voice. (I certainly won’t be talking anyone off a ledge anytime soon.) I sat and sobbed for 5 minutes silently while Jude redirected his attention to a piece of paper he could shred in the living room. (Don’t judge him- it’s his thing, people.)

So there I was all evening… convinced I was the worlds fattest, ugliest, least successful, gigantic mom-failure. Feeling really sorry for myself.

Until eventually (around 1am) I made it to sleep and the most amazing thing happened, I woke up and IT WAS A NEW DAY. Because that is the gift we are given, that we can begin a new routine anytime we want. In fact a very wise person once told me “You can re-start your day at any time” and so can be said for re-starting your week I figured. I got up, got the kids ready and had a fabulous day with Aunt Nicole and Ari at the pool. No one got hurt, I didn’t cry, no one hated me and I even had fun. I came home and our friends Nick, Jaime, baby Josie and Luke came over and we had a fantastic time. I laughed, people still loved me and crazily enough- still wanted to be my friend even though I had two kids. Earth shattering, I know.

{Secret? I even had a cocktail when Ruby fell asleep. I felt giggly, drank the whole damn thing and it was delicious.}

AND THEN…the most amazing thing happened (and I’m certain it will never happen again because I’m bragging about it on the internet) Ruby slept… for SEVEN! HOURS! STRAIGHT!

Did I stud-ah?

YES!! SEVENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. 1, 2, 3 ,4, 5 ,6, 7.

Okay, I’m done jinxing myself.

Anyways, I actually got some sleep and so did the rest of my family. I woke up (in complete shock), got the kids ready and took them to The Fountains to play and take Jude to the Splash park. It wasn’t perfect, he threw two huge tantrums…BUT…no one bled, puked, died, etc. I was fine, they were fine. People stared at me during his fit and I just waved and smiled. Why? Because I’m a damn good Mom with two beautiful children and I’m doing the best that I can. So suck on that. (And Lady? You are lucky I don’t stare down your kid for that disaster of an outfit. “My Mom loves me” Really?! No one cares. NO ONE .) I can’t continue hiding in my house because I’m afraid of what COULD happen. I don’t want to live my life in fear, my family doesn’t deserve that. I don’t deserve that. Jude deserves to go play with kids his age and throw tantrums to embarrass his Mom. He’s almost 2 (hold me babyjesusinheaven) and that is what crazy-almost-two-year-olds do.

And maybe next week if I start feeling sorry for myself, like the moron that I (sometimes) am, I can come back here and re-read this last part a few times.

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Now who wants to see photos of my insanley adorable babies?

You got it, dude.

Tantrum.

Happy.

Angel.

Kisses 🙂

Oh, shit.

22 Jul

Someone hold me.

This morning Jude had his first appointment with his new Doctor. He recently received his new insurance coverage (longggg story) and hadn’t been to a checkup since February. So, on Monday when I called to book his appointment, I jumped at the first appointment Kaiser could offer us. The only time they could give me within the week was 9am on Friday. I  right away felt disappointed when the receptionist offered me the appointment, because I knew I would have to take both children by myself because Michael would be at work. “Maybe it wont be so bad?” I lied to myself.

So Wednesday I decided to try and take the kids out by myself to the mall (they have a play area for the kids) and see how things would go. I figured it would probably be easier taking them out the first time when I didn’t need to be anywhere at a specific time. I was right because (while it was stressful) I didn’t cry or have a panic attack, so I considered that trip a success. I started to feel a little confident about taking the kids to the appointment alone.

The kids woke up to start the day at 6:30am this morning. Michael and I forced ourselves to our feet and tried to set me up for success on this adventure. Michael fed Jude breakfast and tried to play with him while I nursed Ruby as long as I could and threw on some clothes. I felt like I was preparing for battle. Michael was quizzing me on what to put into the diaper bag and we tried to think of every possible “man down” situation that may occur.

{I should take a moment to say THANK GOD I have a helpful and loving husband. I couldn’t survive without him.}

I continued nursing Ruby until the last second we had to leave and we packed the kids into the car. I nervously kissed Michael goodbye and took some deep breaths. “I. CAN. DO. THIS.” I told myself over and over. We arrived at the Pediatricians office and I got out the stroller, I had actually figured out how to open it without injuring myself. Success. Next, I took out the kids and packed them into said stroller. Its a double “sit and stand” stroller, so Jude sits in a seat with just a lap belt. For some reason I could only get him half buckled in, even though I investigated this feature for over five minutes. I decided after awhile that I was going to be too late if I didn’t just head in to the office so I left it as is.

I walked up to the reception desk and told the woman we were checking in for Jude’s first visit. Things were going great… until Jude started squirming and begging to be out of the stroller. “Just a minute Baby” I tried to say as excited as possible. “You are doing so good sitting down with Sissy, just another minute!”  The woman behind the counter began asking me all sorts of questions and I tried really hard to focus on what she was saying (but was distracted by Jude’s loud whining, kicking and begging to get out of the stroller). She asked me for my ID and Jude’s insurance card, so I began digging through my diaper bag. At this point Ruby woke up and began crying. As I shuffled through the bag, the crying turned to screaming.

I believe this was the moment I broke out in full body sweats but I can’t say for sure. I scrambled around quickly getting out the cards to hand them over and unbuckled Ruby to take her our of her car seat to try to soothe her. A line of waiting parents with children began to form behind us. When I turned back around to the receptionist, she nervously looked at Ruby in my arms and then over at Jude. “Busy” she mumbled as she imputed information into her computer. She handed the cards back over along with a stack of paperwork to fill out (joy). I turned around to make our way out of line when I realized that Jude was no longer in the stroller. “OH MY GOD!” I gasped. I looked at the woman standing behind me in line as if to say, “Umm hello? Where’s my kid?!” and she pointed down the hallway and said dryly, “He went that way”. Hey, thanks douche, thanks for the warning. So there I go, Ruby on my left shoulder, running down the hallway shouting for Jude. I found him in the corner and grabbed his hand. He was pissed (of course) and kicked and screamed the entire walk back to the stroller. Sweating continued.

At this point the line for reception was approximately 10 parents deep, making my walk of shame seem even longer. I reached the stroller at the front of the line, I mumbled some apologies to the receptionist and tried to get out of everyone’s way. I put Ruby down in her car seat, strapped Jude back into his seat and made my way to the waiting area. Okay, you can do this, I told myself. I found a place to sit and tried to fill out the paperwork that was expected of me. Instantly upon sitting, Jude continued begging to get out of the stroller. I attempted to bribe him with some goldfish crackers and a toy airplane. This worked for 30 seconds until Ruby started screaming again. I attempted to give her a pacifier. No dice. She continued screaming and Jude began to get annoyed with her and felt the need to join in the chorus and started crying too. So, I tried rocking Ruby with my left arm, filling out the survey with my right and calm Jude down with my voice. “I know you want out Jude, but I really need you to be a big boy and sit in your stroller right now so I can do this.” I begged. “NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO!” He yelled back.

“Jude. Jude, Reese?” A nurse called out. Okay, its our turn. This will be like 5 minutes. Right?

I greeted the nurse and apologized for not having time to finish the paperwork. She told me she completely understood and welcomed us back. Oh thank god she is nice. I need nice. We were ushered into a room that my stroller was embarrassingly too big for. The nurse asked for me to get Jude undressed down to his diaper so he could get weighed. She offered to hold Ruby so I could have my hands free to get him undressed. I thanked her and handed over Ruby, who was finally calming down. I quickly removed Jude’s clothes and brought him over to the large scale in the corner. I tried to lay him down and he began to yell. “We want to see how big you are Jude! We need to see how much you have grown!” I tried to sound enthusiastic. I obviously wasn’t convincing because he just struggled harder to get off the scale. “Maybe try sitting him on it instead of laying him down?” the nurse offered gently. “Oh okay” I said as I picked him up to try and sit him on his bottom. “NO, NOOO!” Jude whimpered as if I was trying to get him to sit on a burning fire. He dug his nails into my arms, struggling to get away from the scale.

Ruby began to scream again. The nurse asked me if she was hungry. “I just nursed her like 20 minutes ago… for an hour… but she probably just wants to be on my boob” I replied. She looked at me strangely and asked me to bring Jude to the stand up scale instead. We were able to get him to stand on the scale long enough to learn he is now 27 pounds! I told him how proud I was of him and how big he is getting. He clapped for himself and said “Yaaaay!”. Ruby continued crying and I took her from the nurse with my free arm and tried to rock her while walking Jude back to the exam table with the other. He did not want to go back into our room (of course) and fought me. I somehow managed to lift him onto the table and set Ruby down in her car seat. The instant I set her down she began screaming. “Okay, lets see how long he is” the nurse said. We held Jude down as she measured him. “34.5 inches long”

Thankfully I had brought a bottle of breast milk and began rifling through the diaper bag to fish out the bottle for Ruby. “Okay the doctor will be in any minute” the nurse said tentatively and left the room. Instantly I wished she hadn’t left. Jude sat on the exam table in his diaper and I tried to hold his hand with my left hand and hold Ruby’s bottle in her mouth with my right. She calmed down and was happy to be eating again. Jude had turned around and was playing with all the medical equipment attached to the wall. “Oh no Budgie, please don’t play with those, no touching please! No, Jude…please don’t touch those…” He laughed, pulled the flashlight-ear-examiner-thingy and began banging it loudly into the wall. I tried to grab it out of his hand while keeping the bottle in Ruby’s mouth. “JUDE. STOP. NO!” I said sternly. He threw the thing-a–ma-bob into the wall. Really? I grabbed the “emergency” sucker I had packed in the diaper bag and gave it to Jude. He sat quietly. I finished filling out the paperwork. I tried to wipe the sweat off my forehead with the back of my hand.

Dr. Sara walked in. A sweet white haired woman with a big smile. I think she looks nice…and she was. We introduced ourselves and she asked me some questions about Jude’s lap in coverage and how he was doing. I felt embarrassed as Jude sat on the table at 9:30 in the morning with a sucker hanging out of his mouth.

“How is his speech? Is he saying over 20 words right now?” she asked. “Umm, I’m not sure, he seems to understand most of what we are saying, but still isn’t saying many words”. She shook her head thoughtfully and responded, “Well, does he put two words together yet?” My heart sank a little bit, “No, not really. I mean, sometimes he will say ‘No, okay’ but it doesn’t really make sense”. Dr. Sara continued shaking her head and began trying to examine Jude. Trying being the operative word, since he acted as if she was trying to hurt him. He was shaking and scared. It broke my heart. Luckily Dr. Sara was a very patient woman and took her time, tried to explain everything she was doing to Jude and spoke to him calmly. He continued acting like she was trying to murder him, so I laid Ruby back down again and held Jude’s arms down so she could complete her exam. Sweat was falling from my face onto his as he shook his head from side to side.

Finally the exam was over and the Dr said Jude looked and sounded great. “Now, if he doesn’t start to say more words or put more words together we may need to have him see a specialist just to rule out he doesn’t have any special needs or learning restrictions.” This was the final blow I could handle today. I shook my head, thanked her for her time and began trying to get Jude re-dressed. I wanted to cry but I knew I didn’t have time or energy to do so. Ruby was pissed again and I tried giving her her pacifier but she only spit it out to scream some more. Eventually Jude was dressed, the kids were buckled in and I somehow we were walking to the car. As we were walking through the parking lot, both children were silent. OH, NOW YOU WANT TO BE GOOD?!

We all got into the car. I felt like a dozen bricks were lifted off my chest now that I finally had made it into the drivers seat. I sat there a  few minutes trying to compose myself before starting to drive. I went over the appointment in my mind and tried to piece together what Dr. Sara had said. I realized at this point that Jude DID put two words together that made sense. I can’t believe I forgot to tell her that Jude knows how to say “Oh, shit!”

That really would have completed our great first impression I’m sure.

101 Things To Do With Your Toddler

8 Jun

I love this list!!! Via Counting On Me

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101 Things To Do With Your Toddler

One of my goals for this year is to do everything on this list at least once with my little girls.

  1. Color
  2. Blow Bubbles
  3. Play Hide-and-Seek
  4. Peek-a-Boo
  5. Play Chase
  6. Do Finger-plays
  7. Sing a song
  8. Collect rocks in a basket
  9. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and/or furniture
  10. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets
  11. Go for a Walk
  12. Make a Car out of a Box
  13. Read a book
  14. Go to the park
  15. Finger-paint
  16. Play with Play-Dough
  17. Toss Bean bags into a Bucket
  18. Play the shell and pea game
  19. Dance to music
  20. Download games for toddlers from the Internet
  21. Practice putting things in and taking things out of boxes and bags
  22. Make a temporary slide out of a table leaf and your couch
  23. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor
  24. Scoop dirt or sand into a child’s bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  25. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other (only with adult supervision)
  26. Put on a puppet show
  27. Go fishing with a yard stick and yarn
  28. Make a Horseshoe game
  29. Make a Shape Puzzle
  30. Play paper basketball
  31. Run through a Sprinkler
  32. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge (PLEASE WATCH CHILD AT ALL TIMES!)
  33. Make a Drum out of an oatmeal box
  34. Play with a kazoo
  35. Wash windows together
  36. Bang on Pots and Pans with a spoon
  37. Brush each other’s teeth
  38. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your child’s clothes
  39. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other
  40. Let child stack mixing bowls inside each other
  41. Make a playhouse out of a large box
  42. Let child play with a sticker sheet (make sure your child doesn’t eat them!)
  43. Put stickers on fingers for finger puppets
  44. Play a musical instrument together- i.e.recorder, piano, etc.
  45. Go on a Smelling Hunt
  46. Frost Cookies
  47. Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  48. Roll a tennis ball into an empty trash can or bucket
  49. Draw on a mirror with dry-erase markers
  50. Play hide and seek together- trying to find a stuffed animal or other object
  51. Have a splash party together in the bathtub
  52. Put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk around the house
  53. Record each other on a tape recorder (great for scrapbooks or journals!)
  54. Make and try on paper hats
  55. Give a piggy-back ride
  56. Play “Horsey”
  57. Talk into an electric fan (it distorts your voice)
  58. Play tug-of-war with a blanket
  59. Collect flowers (felt, artificial, real…)
  60. Make a camera and go on a Safari
  61. Play games with frozen juice lids
  62. Disconnect your phone and pretend to make phone calls to relatives
  63. Leave your phone connected and really make phone calls to relatives- let your child talk too
  64. String large beads onto or along a shoelace
  65. Squirt each other with squirt bottles
  66. Glue shapes onto paper
  67. Make sock puppets
  68. Make paper puppets
  69. Fill an old purse with toys
  70. Use a paper towel tube as a megaphone
  71. Make binoculars and go “Bird Watching” or “Stuffed Animal Watching”
  72. Put snacks in different fun containers (paper sacks, empty canisters, etc.)
  73. Act out a story from a book
  74. Walk on a balance beam- use a 2×4 placed on the ground
  75. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  76. Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  77. Paint child’s palms with tempura paint and blot on paper. Makes a great card for loved ones!
  78. Put lipstick on child and kiss a mirror
  79. Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  80. Let child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich
  81. Make a toilet paper barricade for child to go under, over, or through
  82. Do the Hokey Pokey
  83. Make a super-hero costume out of household items
  84. Do Knee-Bouncing Rhymes
  85. Play “Red Light, Green Light” saying “Go” and “Stop”
  86. Make a shoe-box train for stuffed animals
  87. Make a pillow pile to jump on (keep it clear from any hard surfaces, including walls!)
  88. Make an easy puzzle with felt and Velcro
  89. Make bracelets or collars for stuffed animals out of pipe cleaners and jingle bells
  90. Learn numbers from a deck of cards
  91. Play the matching game with a deck of cards
  92. Make a domino chain
  93. Have a picnic in the park, backyard, or living room!
  94. Play dress up in Mommy or Daddy’s clothes
  95. Make a tin cup telephone and talk to each other in it
  96. Make a nature collage
  97. Mirror each other
  98. Make a “Mummy Mommy” with toilet paper
  99. Make a tape recording of short music selections and instructions to move in different ways
  100. Make and walk along a toilet paper trail
  101. TAKE A NAP!

I found this list on the forums of my local chapter of The Mommies Network. If you are a mom of young children and not already a member of The Mommies Network, I highly recommend joining!  The Mommies Network has been a both tremendous resource and source of support and friendship for both me and my daughters.

Best iPhone/iPad Apps For Pregnant Women, Babies and New Moms

6 Jun

Article via Lil Miss

I just loved finding this list, I had to share!!!

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Best iPhone Apps for pregnancy and new moms
Are you a mama? Well, there’s an app for that… several hundred that is.  Apps for the iPhone and iPad are being added every day.  I remember searching for breastfeeding apps a year ago and only finding 2-3 and now there are well over twenty apps to help you keep track of feedings.  At this rate, it’s hard to figure out which apps are keepers, and which you should just pass by.  So, I spent a day on iTunes (quite literally, it took me all day!) to see what the best iPhone/iPad apps were for pregnant moms, babies and new moms.  I have not gotten around to trying every single one, but I compared the apps to other apps like it and made my selections based on user reviews.  At the end of the day, we all have our preferences so try them out and see what you like best.  Many of the apps are free and many have “lite” (free) versions.   All of the Apps listed below are available on iTunes.   I hope this helps make your life easier!

Best iPhone/iPad apps for Pregnant Ladies (in no particular order):

  • What to Expect – Pregnancy – just like the book, but on your phone.  Very handy with daily updates.
  • Maybe Baby & Maybe Baby Lite – fertility, period and ovulation tracker.  I used an app similar to this to keep track of days when the husband and I were trying to have a baby.  If you want to try it for free, try the lite version and then if you like it you can buy the full version.
  • 50,000 Baby Names – as soon as you find out your pregnant, I guarantee you one of the first things you’ll think of is what will I name the child? This free app will help you figure it out while you’re in line at the grocery store.
  • Pregnancy Buzz by The Bump – brought to you by TheBump.com, stay informed and connected at every stage of your pregnancy.
  • New Mom – a reference that takes you from thinking about getting pregnant to being a new mama.

Best iPhone Apps for Babies and New Moms

Best iPhone/iPad Apps for New and/or Nursing Moms (in no particular order):

    • iBreastfeed brought to you by the breast pump company Medela, iBreastfeed is an excellent and the most complete app.  It includes tips on breastfeeding, a log to keep track of babies eating, sleeping and diaper changes, and helps you find breastfeeding and pumping friendly locations.
    • Nursing Log – keep track of baby’s nursing.
    • Baby Geek records and analyzes just about everything the baby does, keeps track of immunizations, displays growth charts and much more.
    • Breast Feeding Friend – keep track of baby’s nursing, includes timer.
    • iBaby Feed Timer – keep track of baby’s nursing, includes timer.
    • Nickelodeon ParentsConnect FunOnTheRun – an excellent resource of fun things to do with the family.
    • Breastfeeding – keeps track of what side you should nurse.
    • Pocket First Aid & CPR from the American Heart Association – resource for first aid procedures, manage first aid checklist, store medical and insurance information.
    • Baby Buzz – brought to you by TheBump.com, this app give you expert tips and real-mom advice on everything baby.
    • What to Expect – Baby – just like the book, but on your phone.  Very handy with daily updates and tracker.
    • BabyPhone Deluxe (Baby Monitor): Use your iPhone as a baby monitor- your phone records babies noises and calls you on a secondary number if baby makes a noise that exceeds a designated level.
    • Baby Care Video Guide for New Parents – a 24-hour video how-to resource for new parents covering everything from feeding, sleeping, crying, doctor visits and more.
    • Eat Sleep Pro: Simple Baby Tracking – keep track of baby’s eating, sleeping and diaper habits.
    • Pump@Work – helps keep track of pumping, storing and providing the right amount of milk to baby.
    • Baby Massage Basics – how-to and info on baby massage.

Best iPhone Apps for Babies and New Moms

Best iPhone/iPad Apps for Babies (in no particular order):

  • Bubbles Magic – create bubbles and pop them without a sticky mess!
  • Bubbles – touch a bubble to pop it
  • Nursery Rhymes – 21 popular nursery rhymes at your tips so you can read to your baby.
  • Nursery Rhyme with StoryTime – nursery rhymes with illustrations; StoryTime allows you to read a story to your loved one from anywhere in the world.
  • Baby Touch & Hear – entertain & educate baby with 143 different sounds of animals and tools.
  • My Baby Einstein – Baby Einstein (aka baby crack) on the go!
  • Peek-A-B00 Baby Rattle – shake the phone and an animal will appear and make an animal noise.
  • Infant Visual Stimulation – 120 black-and-white pattern images for babies.
  • Zoola Lite – learning fun with animals – includes pictures, sounds and songs. (The Tiny Dancer loves this!)
  • White Noise Lite – white noise app with everything from static to fans to airplanes. This app was indispensable during the Tiny Dancer’s first three months.  The static noise put her to sleep and kept her asleep!
  • Baby Rattle – 123 – shake the iPad/iPhone for an endless surprise of animations and sounds.
  • Baby Rattle Toy – changes your phone into an interactive rattle for baby.
  • Baby Sleep – lullabies to make your baby sleep.

Officially the most spoiled Mama EVER!

8 May

Holy Crap. My Mother’s Day kicks all other days asses.

No, for real.

Saturday, Michael made breakfast for his Mama (aka Lita) and I. It was delicious! AND Lita was nice enough to get me more cupcakes from Icing on the Cupcake. Which, if you haven’t been there before? Well, I just feel sorry for you.

Ya.

Today, I was woken up with another delicious breakfast. McDonald’s breakfast, which is quickly becoming a holiday trend in our house, that I thoroughly approve of.

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, I was given these beautiful flowers (that seriously smell like HEAVEN).

Both Michael and Jude gave me awesome cards too. Look how talented Jude is!

I couldn’t stop smiling if I tried and I had only been awake 10 minutes.

Michael had to work breakfast shift, so he said I had to wait for the rest of my presents BUT Jude got to give me his.

He got a giant print done for our (Ung Drill) Ikea frame that has been empty for literally a year (we moved into our house last Mother’s Day).

BEFORE:

NOW:

So. EXCITED. I can’t believe I stared at that thing for over a year and never took action to get something printed. Well, now I feel complete inside.

So off to work Michael went. Jude took a nap and I got ready for the day.

____________________

Michael returned home and reminded me I had MORE presents to open. I was already feeling like the most spoiled Mama/wife in the Universe!

Then, he showed me this:

He has been staying up late the last week or so and I had totally been riding on him about it. Saying, “You wouldn’t be so tired if you didn’t stay up all night silly!!” Well, now I feel like an ass because he had been staying up making THAT for me. I started crying 3 seconds in and didn’t stop the whole time. I think we have a new video pro in our family. I love, love, love this and will probably watch it a million more times.

And then…when I thought I honestly couldn’t feel anymore spoiled?

Are you ready for the cutest thing in the world?

Michael has been studying (no, like seriously…taking notes…) how to give a proper spa pedicure online!! He even watched youtube tutorials to be sure he would know what he was doing. So he went outand bought all the stuff to give me a proper pedicure, including new nail polish. He also MADE HIS OWN FOOT SCRUB. I know, I know. Seriously.

I hit the jackpot when I married this guy.

I’m totally not just saying this to boost his ego, but it was truly the most relaxing and best feeling pedicure I’ve ever had in my life!!! He could go into business. Only I don’t want him touching anyone but me.

At this point… I’m full on in a this-is-the-best-day-ever comma. We hang out for a bit and begin to prepare dinner, my Mom’s world famous “Chicken Dish”. As long as I’ve been alive my Mom has made “Chicken Dish” and yes that is the official name. I don’t know how to describe how amazing it is, but basically it would be my last supper if I was able to choose. So, I was pretty excited about this.

My Mom and Everitt came over for dinner and I was spoiled (once again).

Sooo sweet and thoughtful. The balloons also double as entertainment for Jude for a minimum of a week. The kid loves himself some balloons.

The eating of the Chicken Dish commenced, we all stuffed ourselves. We had no choice but to watch a movie, so we put on Cars for Jude (even though Everitt was just as excited to watch it). After awhile we had to eat the cake my Mom had brought- this ridiculous chocolate mouse cake with strawberries on top. It is safe to say was Jude’s favorite part of the day.

Man, he is cute.

I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day. Thank you to everyone who sent me thoughtful messages and texts!!! Its such a touching feeling to have people recognize you as a Mother. I’m so lucky to be Jude’s (and Ruby’s) Mom that a day to celebrate it really seems unnecessary but hey, if it means days like today, I’ll take it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lucky women in the world!

Lost. A Moms Worst Nightmare.

5 May

Today I experienced one of those moments that really change the way you feel about life in an instant. I actually was a witness to the event, but it still shook me up in a way I didn’t think was possible. Had happened it TO me, I don’t think I’d be able to talk about it for a while.

Jude & I made our way to Fair Oaks Park early this afternoon for a Cinco De Mayo Fiesta playdate with my Moms Group. The park was pretty packed, especially because the weather was beautiful. I just sat still for awhile in the shade, enjoying watching Jude play in the sand with other kids, listening the soundtrack of laughter in the background. I saw one of Jude’s buddies, Brandon, going down the slide. Most of the other moms from group were cleaning up the kids mess from snack time, including Brandon’s Mom, Krystal.  Jude went over to some bigger kids who had chalk and dumped out their entire bucket. I told Jude “No” and began cleaning up the mess on my knees.

Krystal came up to me a moment later and asked me if I had seen Brandon. “He was just on the slide a second ago” I said. We both shaded our eyes and began searching the sea of children to try and spot Brandon. Krystal walked away and Jude was running to dump out the chalk again, so I swooped him up and started walking around the perimeter of the play structure. About a minute later I still hadn’t seen Brandon but I figured Krystal had probably found him, so I went to find her. I soon saw her searching still for Brandon and I asked, “Wait, did you find him?” “No!” she replied, obviously worried. I could tell she was trying to keep calm. Well, however calm a person can be when their child is missing.

I started to (silently) freak out a little bit. ‘He can’t just disappear!’ I thought. ‘Right?!’

We separated and I started shouting Brandon’s name, while trying to control Jude (who was kicking and screaming because he wanted down). As I was walking around I asked other parents if they had seen him and if they would help us look.

The next 3-4 minutes seemed like 5 hours (I can’t even begin to imagine how long they felt for Krystal). Lots of the other Moms were helping us search for Brandon at this point. We walked all over the park (Which happens to be HUGE. Of course). I saw one Mom checking the bathrooms so I decided to check the parking lot. My mind began to panic as time was passing and I started thinking about all the worst possible scenarios.

Did someone take him? Is he hiding under a car? Did he get hit by a car? Where would he have gone? What if we can’t find him? Should I call the cops?

After looking over the parking lot I made my way to the other side of the park, the direction Krystal had gone. Of course its hard to explain, but one end of the park is the parking lot and the other end (where Krystal was) is just a giant grass hill. Its about 200-300 yards from the play structure. As I started making my way up the hill, I couldn’t see Krystal anymore but began to realize that on the other side of that hill is an extremely busy intersection. No fence.  Just cars and traffic on the other side. My stomach dropped.

A Dad jogged up to my side and began asking me what Brandon was wearing, “Black shirt with writing and tan shorts I think” I answered. He looked worried as I said “He is only one and a half!”  We were reaching the other side of the hill I heard someone yell out, “She found him.”

I instantly started to cry, but felt kind of crazy for crying… and was thankful I had worn my extra big sunglasses. I waited for Krystal as she was walking toward me with Brandon in her arms (who was giggling) and I could see, even in the distance (and with her also wearing big sunglasses) that she was horrified by what had just happened. I could also see that she was shaking. Once she got close enough we just hugged for a good 30 seconds, both of us sobbing.

“Oh my god, oh my god” I just kept saying. She was saying something back but it was hard to understand, understandably. I said, “Its okay, he’s okay. Lets go sit down” and she pulled herself together enough to make it back to the picnic area. Apparently she had called her husband while we were searching and he had jumped on his motorcycle to come to the park. Krystal desperately wanted to call him to tell him the good news but since he was on his bike, he wouldn’t be able to answer/hear his phone. We all gathered around the picnic table still in shock. I was trying to process what had just happened. Krystal told us that when she reached the intersection, luckily, a group of people had surrounded Brandon and waited with him, keeping him safe (and from running into the street). She buckled Brandon into his stroller and informed him he wouldn’t be going to the park again for awhile.

Eventually her husband was able to call her and be told the good news. How helpless he must have felt.

Poor Krystal. It was horrifying enough being a bystander to the experience. Its one of those things you hear stories about but never realize how absolutely terrifying it is until you see if first hand.

I am so thankful that Brandon is okay. I’m also thankful that at least Krystal isn’t pregnant and she can drink a lot of booze tonight.

1 May

I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure. – Mark Twain

Our child owns us.

19 Apr

Its true. I’m sure pregnancy hormones are not helping, but in the last month both Michael & I have become completely overwhelmed. It seems like no matter what/how we try to take Jude with us places, it ends up turning into a giant melt down of some kind. Today we needed to go grocery shopping for the week. We also needed our oil changed, so we went to Wal Mart where we could do both. So we began our shopping and first we tried letting Jude walk around on his leash.

YES MY CHILD HAS A LEASH.

Its one of those teddy bear backpack ones that are supposed to help hide the fact that you are PUTTING YOUR CHILD ON A LEASH.

This is the first thing I always think of (warning, explicit language):

I know, I know. And for the record? I was one of those people who used to laugh and make fun of people who put their children on leashes. So let the fact that Michael & I actually went and bought one of those ridiculous things tell you how DESPERATE we truly are. Also for the damn record? Young-childless-couple in the Garden Department, a giant EFF YOU for staring at us like that. Topped with a super-giant-bitter I HOPE YOU’RE EFFING  GET-PREGNANT-ON-BIRTH-CONTROL-KIND-OF FERTILE!!!

So, we tried the leash. That worked for…..3.7 seconds. Fit begins. Throwing self on ground. We try putting Jude into the cart. That lasts for about…2 minutes. Punching, kicking, screaming and fit throwing continues.

So then we try this:

Which was working alright until we figured out that Budgie was CHEWING through all the boxes and plastic items. So, I tried distracting him with a fruit cereal bar, which lasted about…39.3 seconds. He decided it was time to take all of the items in the cart, throw them as hard as he could and scream as loud as he could. This was when Michael and I both began sweating. Running from aisle to aisle trying to shop as quickly as possible.

I even tried putting a youtube video of Shrek on my iphone and handing it to him in the cart. Which gave us 2 minutes of calm. Praise you, Dream Works. Praise you.

We were coming towards the end of our speedy-shopping-spree and reach our last destination, the produce aisle. Jude is very unhappy and kicking his legs about so I tell Michael, “You just grab everything really fast and I will chase Jude”. He runs off and I take Jude out of the cart (still screaming) and let him run around, sweating my 7-months-pregnant ass off. Which is great for about….45 seconds until Jude decides to run up to all the reachable fruit and try to throw in on the ground.

I scoop him up and try to take him to another area. Which doesn’t work because he is screaming so loudly and jolting his body so harshly at this point that I am actually afraid of my child and I just stand in the middle of the produce department, helpless. I begin crying like a little baby. The old ladies who were only moments before staring at me as if I were the anti-Christ are now looking at me with pity (not sure which is worse). Michael turns from the lettuce to see me looking more pathetic than ever and rushes over. He takes Jude from my arms, tells me the 3 items we need that are left on our list, and carries Jude over to the toy section to distract him while I finish our shopping and check out.

I am so humiliated and embarrassed at this point, that I am not only crying but also look like I just ran a marathon because I am covered in sweat.

If you don’t already know me well enough to know this, I love this child with my entire being. Like, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Jude because there are not enough human emotions to even begin to describe what I feel for him. But in this moment at the grocery store, I began to realize something very important, my life is different now. In so many millions of ways for the BEST BEST BEST but also in some ways, like today, in a very inconvenient way.

Realizing this, on the way home I say, “We just can’t go grocery shopping together anymore” to Michael. Which makes both of us a little sad since it is/was one of our favorite things to do together (before having children). That might sound really weird, but it was one of “our things”. It just NEEDS to be put on hold right now. While that is perfectly OKAY, it still kind of stings a bit. And Honey, when you asked me on the way home what I wanted for lunch and I replied, “One of those bong-sized margaritas from Las Vegas and a Xanex.” I was completely serious, but thank you for laughing at me anyways.

I don’t know if you currently have small children, but if you do, then you are most likely nodding your head in agreement with this (unless you have some super freaky 1.5-2 year old that actually enjoys sitting in a grocery cart for 45 minutes). But if you are pregnant right now reading this, I am sorry and just keep lying to yourself about how “your kids will be different” like we did. Because, honestly the denial is so nice while it lasts.It was better than bong-sized margaritas. And if you are too old to remember what this feels like and you somehow only remember that your kids were NEVER like this and ALWAYS listened and NEVER screamed in the grocery store and…and…and… for this reason you take great pleasure in staring us down in the store or judging me right now then FINE. JUDGE. AWAY. Because I am a damn good Mom. I have a lot to learn and I don’t need your judgment, I need your support.

So to the one, sincere, nice, loving, older lady who walked by me in the produce section (weeping like a little child) and patted me on the back (as if to say, “Oh honey, I’ve been there.”) THANK YOU. Thank you so much.